Sunday, October 31, 2010

A Bit Quiet

It's time for my Bernina to go in for it's annual service. I dropped it off yesterday afternoon.
My sewing room looks empty.
I do have some quilting related activities set up and ready to go. I've pieced 8 setting triangles and 1 block that need applique fused onto them. The black rolled up fabric is my Jo's Little Women project that needs hand quilting. It's about half way finished. I also have my needle turn applique for the next project to do. As you can tell, I've made zero progress on it since I posted about it. I'm not going to be able to get all this completed in the next couple of weeks while my machine is in the shop due to other activities we have planned. It sure is nice to have options though! I have a couple of stitching and knitting projects to work on too so there won't be a lack of things to do.
Things around here will be a bit quiet for the next couple of weeks or so. I'll still be visiting your blogs and seeing what you have going on! My blog list gets longer every day! Thank you for visiting and I'll be back soon. Happy Stitches!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Mail Call!

The mailman brought goodies on Monday. I received my package from the Heather Ross Studio Sale. This is a $25 package. I didn't expect the Flea Market Fancy nor did I expect a personalized print. We had no idea what we were going to get.
Heather Ross Studio Sale 10/10
Then I got the Flea Market Fancy I purchased from the Lucy & Norman Destash! 21 fat eights of an out of print and hard to find fabric line.
Flea Market Fancy Acquisition 10/10
There is very little sewing going on but I did finish my pieced block for October for the $5 Quilt. The center block has a little give in it but not enough to worry about. It will quilt out so it stays. Other than this block, I've pieced together a few background blocks for the applique on this same quilt. I'm behind and hoping to somewhat catch up. I must admit, I'm not feeling it now though so it's probably going to sit for a while.
October $5 Quilt Block 2010
I've been in more of a stitching mood lately. Our sampler guild met on Saturday - I didn't really get a lot done there but I've kept at it since then and I've made a lot of progress when you consider my normal stitching pace. I have 3 motifs left on Quakers and Quilts and my mind is already turning to the next project. No decisions yet.

Our weather has turned hot again. Almost hitting 90 today. I'm so ready for the cold weather to get here. I want open windows and fresh air! This weekend it's supposed to dip below 80 and I'm really looking forward to it.

Thank you for visiting my blog! I have a long list of blogs I follow and I rarely miss reading them. I'm always so interested and inspired by what everyone is doing. Bloggers are awesome in so many ways, I appreciate each of you! Happy Stitches!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Exploring Something New and and Update!

As I shared in my last post, my Jo's Little Women's class last weekend had instruction around hand applique. I've only machine appliqued so I took loads of notes. The method Jan taught us is commonly referred to as Back Basting but Jan uses the term Perfect Placement. In this method, you don't cut out templates that are fussy or can get lost. The first thing to do is to pin your applique pattern face up to the background fabric which is also face up. Pining has it's own technique as you want to make sure the background fabric is pinned smoothly to the pattern without any "bubbles".
We laid a sheet of tracing/transfer paper - we used Saral - underneath your background fabric facing the back of the fabric. We didn't pin this to the backing fabric because we wanted to move the transfer paper around as our pattern was bigger. We used a Sewline Tracer to trace the pattern onto the back of the fabric by following the lines on the paper pattern that we pinned to the background fabric. If you have not tried the Sewline Tracer, you must. It glides like butta! I used the ruler to make the lines for the stems straight and the template to make the circles more circular. I'm sure they won't end up that way though!
Flip over your fabric and there is your pattern!
This is as far as I've gotten so far as I'm waiting on my silk thread to back baste. I'm using Sherri's tip for that which I'll share with you when I give you an update.

I finally finished the next motif on Quakers and Quilts by Rosewood Manor. I'm stitching this on the called for fabric with the called for threads. The lower half of this project seems to be going much slower for me.
I'm thinking of pulling out something new to start....something small. We'll see where I go on that. Something new is always fun!

I hope you're enjoying your week. I always appreciate your visits and comments and I enjoy visiting your blogs as well. Happy Stitches!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Weekend Update

I finished this Stitchers Garden block this week. This block used the #31 pin tuck foot to add piping. I enjoyed it but this isn't my favorite block. I don't like the stitch I picked for the quilting of the background. They can't all be my favorite!
My technique needs come work but I can see myself using it again in other quilts. I really like the little pop of color.
Today was our Jo's Little Women Club meeting. Our leader and instructor for this club is Jan Vaine. Jan has a book coming out next year. She brought 2 of the projects to our meeting that will be included in the book. They're silk and let me tell you, they are GORGEOUS! She is truly a talent.
Jan Vaine
She brought her projection setup for the class. We didn't even have to get out of our chairs to see her demonstrations. This time around we're learning hand applique - specifically needle turned applique that is back basted. I have heard so much about hand applique that I'm going to give it a shot. I love to learn new techniques and there are SO many!
Two ladies had their quilts from last month completely finished. Mine is basted and I just started the hand quilting stage so it will be a bit before mine is ready to show. I will say that one my blocks ended up as a coaster!

Here is Marilyn with her quilt. I love the touch of green!
And this is Nancy with hers. Her stitches are tiny.
Everyone is so nice and Jan is a wealth of knowledge. I have learned so much from her already. Funny thing is that the Jo Morton fabrics never appealed to me but in these smaller projects I'm totally in love with them (and furiously collecting, I might add). I am so glad that I'm not a natural at this quilting thing as it's been so rewarding to learn and to grow. Doing things perfectly right from the beginning sure would be boring I think. At least that's what I tell myself - if that isn't true, I don't want to know! :)

My knitting and stitching projects are progressing slowly but I promise that I'm still knitting and stitching. Nothing to show there. I hope each of you are having a fantastic weekend. Florida is experiencing a sunny but cooler weekend. I'm loving it! Happy Stitches!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

100% Finished!

This weekend I put the last stitch in the binding of this quilt. This is the 2nd quilt I pieced and is the first bed size quilt that I have finished. I was originally going to use a green fabric for the binding but decided to use the same brown as the backing fabric.
First Completely Finished Quilt
Our temperatures are back into the high 80's this week. I'm glad this quilt is finished in time for the cooler temperatures that are hopefully on their way. Greg and I are both tall so we'll probably use this as a lap quilt. Perfect for snuggling!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Sneak Peeks

Here's a sneak peek at my first project for Jo's Little Women Club at my LQS. The marker is for scale. There are 17 pieces in each block. I've never done a Courthouse Steps or a Log Cabin block before. The key to the Log Cabin block is to keep the piece most recently added closest to you as you sew on the next piece. Once finished, I'm going to hand quilt this small project. I'm actually a bit nervous about that! Anyone out there have any hand sewing tips?
Here's an almost empty project box. Actually I'm not going to use the fabric shown for my binding so that yard or so of fabric can go back into my stash. I hope to have a finished quilting project for you soon.
I've spent just a bit of time sewing this weekend. I managed to come down with a cold just on the cusp of the long weekend so I've not gotten done as much as I hoped. I enjoyed what I did though!

I hope you had a great weekend and had opportunity to do the things that make you happy!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Family Treasures

In my last post, you could see a wagon wheel quilt my grandmother made. She passed away when I was 8 (I'm almost 49) and her quilts are my most prized possessions. I always feel really close to her when I am quilting. This is the other quilt that I own that she made. No one is home with me to hold it up so the back of the couch has to do. My grandfather used to go to the cotton mills along the river in Phenix City, AL and get scraps for Grandma. My grandparents had very limited means and these scraps were cheap. If I remember correctly, they came cut in squares already.
I can't imagine what this fabric looked like as a bigger cut. But when you have to, you make do with what you have and nothing goes to waste.
This is one of my favorite fabrics. There is just the one square so it must have been the only one she had.
Simple fabrics, simple placement. Priceless to me!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

New Toy and New Project

I have a new toy laptop:
This is the greeting I saw when I opened the very small booklet that accompanied the MacBook. I'm not a believer yet. The transition from a Windows based product to a Mac has not been as easy as I hoped it would be. There was not an instructional manual so I guess I'll slowly work through the 23,987 tutorials that are on the Apple site.
I started my first project today for Jo's Little Women Club that my LYS is offering. I cut what seemed like tons of 1" strips (these are just a few). My hands hurt from gripping the rotary cutter and working with the small pieces. I really don't like to cut out fabric.
This is a small project - 15" square - and I hope to hand quilt it. It will be my first hand quilting project so the small size will work well. I think I'm going to enjoy hand quilting small projects.

Greg rode in the MS150 this weekend. He cycled 160 miles with almost 2000 other cyclists to raise funds and awareness for MS. The North Florida chapter of his bike group raised almost $1million! He's a bit tired but happy that he could do something to make a difference by doing something that he loves.

I hope you all had a good weekend! Thank you for visiting and Happy Stitches!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Storage for Quilts

Last week while at QuiltFest, I passed a vendor whose product I'd been oggling for the past 2 years. I chatted with the owner for a while where he mentioned he would not be coming back. They were simply tired of the constant travel; can't say I blame them. After walking around for a bit, Jeannine reminded me that work had been really stressful lately (SO true) and said that I deserved one (isn't she good?), I went back and purchased one. It's a cabinet to store quilts in but you can see them through the glass. Here is what it looks like with one of my grandmothers quilts hanging in it.
Quilt Storage
It's neat in that you can either hang quilts or fold them and stack them from the bottom. Or you can do both. There is a door on the side where you can easily put the folded quilts on the bottom without disturbing the hanging quilts. I'm going to have to refold my grandmothers quilts so they don't hang quite so low so I can put my folded quilts on the bottom (well, those quilts I'd have if I'd finish any).
Quilt Fest 2010 Purchase
The hanging quilts can be removed and put back from the top which swings up.
My decor is comprised of furniture with clean lines combined with traditional touches so this doesn't stick out like a sore thumb. I really love this piece and look forward to storing quilts here. I guess I'd better get busy and finish something, huh? Thank you Jeannine for your enabling support!